The top of your thigh is made up of four muscles called the quadriceps. These muscles meet just above your knee at the quadriceps tendon, which attaches the quads to your kneecap. This tendon works together with your patellar tendon to straighten and bend your knee. If you experience a tendon injury, the surgeons and specialists at Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Novato, CA, are here to help.
Injuries to the quadriceps tendon can cause a partial or a full tear, which may require surgical treatment. Most injuries to the tendon occur because of a heavy force on the leg while the foot is planted and the knee is partially bent — an awkward landing after a jump can sometimes be too much for the tendon, causing it to tear. A blow to the front of the knee can also cause a tendon injury. Individuals with tendinitis or tendon weakness are more likely to experience an injury.
Treating Quadriceps Tendon Injuries
Most of the time, ruptures of the quadriceps tendon require surgery. Patients who receive surgery sooner after the initial injury tend to have the best results. If you undergo surgery, you will either receive a regional anesthetic (to prevent feeling in the lower half of the body) or full general anesthesia (allowing you to sleep throughout the surgery).
The goal of the surgery is to reattach the tendon to the kneecap. This is accomplished by stitching the tendon to the top of the kneecap. Special sutures will be threaded through tiny holes formed in the kneecap, or suture anchors will be attached to the bone to create a place for the sutures to attach.
If the tendon has started to shrink away from the bone, you may need a tissue graft for the tendon to reach the kneecap. No matter which method your surgeon uses, he or she will make sure your kneecap matches the position of your healthy knee, allowing the injured leg to feel the same as your healthy knee after healing.
During recovery, you will likely need to take medication and ice the knee to reduce inflammation and control discomfort. You will probably wear a knee immobilizer, brace, or cast to protect the tendon while it heals. Depending on your goals and your condition, you may need to start physical therapy or motion exercises early to return to full function faster. You and your surgeon will have determined your recovery plan well before your surgery, and you can discuss your lifestyle and overall goals with your surgeon before treatment.
Quadriceps Tendon Repair in Novato, CA
If you or a loved one experiences a knee injury, the team at Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is here to help. Our specialists are experts at diagnosing and treating tendon injuries using the most advanced and effective treatments available. Whether you experience a fall, athletic injury, or other problem, our goal is always to help you return to your active lifestyle. Contact our office at (415) 492-1600 for more information or to schedule an appointment today.